How Closely Are We Tied To Pride In The Technical Achievements of our Country?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Huntn, Mar 6, 2018.

  1. Huntn macrumors P6

    Huntn

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    #1
    I’m speaking for myself, but I used to feel pride when I marveled at a technical marvel manufactured in my country. Now it makes me sad when I pick up a multitude of items made in China. iPhone is one, Craftman Tools formerly made in the USA, now made in China is another example. We used to manufacture our own circuit boards. Is this selfish of me?

    More later, gotta run...
     
  2. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

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    #2
    Personally, none. I don't see why location should affect how I feel about material things from a pride point of view. But I also consider nationalism disgusting.
     
  3. BeeGood macrumors 68000

    BeeGood

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    #3
    I wouldn’t say it’s “selfish”. I think it’s perfectly normal to lament the fact the place we live used to be a manufacturing power house and now it’s not. The days when a kid right out of high school could get a good factory job and live a middle class living are long gone.

    But at the same time, the shift of manufacturing to other countries in the world has lifted millions of people out of poverty and subsistence living, so the glass isn’t half empty IMO.
     
  4. FrankieTDouglas macrumors 65816

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    #4
    I enjoy it when a company's product is envisioned, designed, and manufactured all under the same roof. An example: Darn Tough socks. Made in Vermont. You can go to their headquarters and buy a pair fresh out of production, if you like. If they rip, I send them back to the same place for repair or replacement. It's all very efficient.
     
  5. Huntn thread starter macrumors P6

    Huntn

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    #5
    I agree with you that Nationalism, certain forms of Nationalism can be ugly, but we all have a sense of our societies, what we stand for, etc. Do you support the Olympics? :)

    I agree with the sentiment, however these industries provided vast numbers of good jobs, a long list of goods, shoes, clothing, fabric, furniture, automobiles, electronics, and the effect is creeping into other non manufacturing professions like engineering and even accounting! All thanks to our Corporate benefactors, the movers and shakers of industry jobs now lost and they migrated due to company's desire to remain competitive, but no less to maximize profits. I understand the effect of globalization. There are winners and losers decided by the people who control those industries. It just irritates me that practically everything for sale seems to be manufactured in Asia.
    --- Post Merged, Mar 6, 2018 ---
    There is a price to be paid, disadvantages when the engineering happens in one location and the manufacturing happens a continent and ocean away. All those disadvantages are trumped by lower manufacturing costs.
     
  6. VulchR macrumors 68020

    VulchR

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    #6
    Truth in advertising, so to speak: I am a scientist, so I have a conflict of interest.

    The simple fact is that western governments are rolling back support for research, while the PRC and other Asian countries are increasing their support. Moreover, much of the investment in research by Western governments is about science (which is good), but there is not enough support for engineering and not enough fostering of links between science and engineering.

    Anyway, the US should be proud of its technological advancements and we're far from being surpassed at that by other countries, for now....
     
  7. Gutwrench Contributor

    Gutwrench

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    #7
    I was confused thinking it was a thread in search of a topic, but you helped it make sense. I agree with you. I don’t see where a product is manufactured - or isn’t in this case - affects one’s pride.
     
  8. VulchR macrumors 68020

    VulchR

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    #8
    Were you alive during the Apollo program, the early days of Apple, etc.? I was and the sense of unity of purpose that was felt in the US was something to behold, unlike now with all our divisions. I understand why some people might be wary about technological pride because of nationalism, but a little coherence in a society doesn't hurt.
     
  9. FrankieTDouglas macrumors 65816

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    #9
    To the same topic, I don't particularly care if it's just American, either. If I buy something that adds value to my life, and I know (for example) that it's a French (or Japanese, or Bolivian, etc) product from beginning to end, there's a nice story attached to the item. If I get a specific type of Scotch, and I know the history of its process and the Scottish factory where it was distilled and the background to the barrels, it's cool to know. There's something to be said about appreciating something that another put pride into their work to create.
     
  10. Huntn, Mar 6, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2018

    Huntn thread starter macrumors P6

    Huntn

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    #10
    I acknowledge that when I figured out that large multinational corporations have basically no patriotism or loyalty to any country in particular much of my gravitation towards, in my case American made products became less of an attraction.

    I think I need to clarify that I was thrilled to buy my 1975 Fiat Spider because it was sexy, made in Italy and there was nothing like it American made. American cars were mostly crap that year except maye for Corvette. ;) Later I was disappointed when my Fiat 500 was made in Mexico. I love products that have a unique National heritage. Two of my favorite beers are from Germany and Belgium. Both myself and the wife love oriental furniture and decore.

    But what I specifically don’t like are products made with a country heritage, like a Shetland sweater or a cuckoo clock or old fashioned Americana items sold in the Cracker Barrel Restaurant, but made in frick’n China because it costs 50% less (or whatever) to make it there. Remember when Walmart had it’s Made in America campaign? Woosh, long gone. It seems like most of the stuff they sell is no longer made here. :oops:
     
  11. Peterkro macrumors 68020

    Peterkro

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    #11
    Coo coo??:D.
     
  12. Falhófnir macrumors 68040

    Falhófnir

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    #12
    Most jobs in tech manufacturing are quite low value added, it’s the design and engineering that command the cash. It’s thus quite difficult to fit making things like iPhones or laptops or TVs into a modern advanced economy... it’s effectively ‘wasting’ labour that could generate a lot more money (tax revenue) doing something else
     
  13. Huntn thread starter macrumors P6

    Huntn

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    #13
    Yes, except throughout the 1950-60s manufacturing in the US offered a large number of jobs to initially untrained workers, representing the best income they’d ever be offered. Part of the reason our Middle Class ballooned then. Now it seems that the Middle Class has almost evaporated at least in comparison. My impression is that high tech jobs along with increasing automation just won’t support the general populace. We may be headed towards a socialist utopia or nightmare, your choice. :)
    --- Post Merged, Mar 6, 2018 ---
    Yeah, well, fixed. :p
     
  14. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

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    #14
    Sure thing, but I know my world paradigme is a result of the local culture I grew up in, and I completely respect that other people grew up with different cultures, and as such, I don't feel that mine is better than theirs from a general point of view. I lament certain things, like agressiveness, lack of gender equality, lack of education, etc. for obvious reasons, but other than that I don't consider 'my' culture better.

    Absolutely! But only for the sports. I don't really follow my nations athletes.
     
  15. blackfox macrumors 65816

    blackfox

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    #15
    Well, where is the miraculous Here? I would go with concept and design. Where the product of that is manufactured seems somewhat irrelevant.
     
  16. Falhófnir macrumors 68040

    Falhófnir

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    #16
    Indeed, of course the cost of living in the 1950s and 60s was far lower than today, so those sort of jobs were a realistic career - today they would be minimum wage jobs that you would be very unlikely to be able to support a family on... it will be interesting to see if universal basic income does work in the coming decades, theoretically it’s just the next step in a capitalistic system rather than a reversion to socialism. But of course the likelihood is that everything will just rebase/ inflate to ignore the UBI and the differentiator will be the existing wealth/ remaining jobs people have. To fix that would require government intervention to try and keep prices artificially low, which historically hasn’t worked with commodity prices floating freely on markets :confused:
     
  17. Huntn thread starter macrumors P6

    Huntn

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    #17
    I agree with the first part.

    For the second part, I believe it makes a difference for the marketing, perceive value, and my original premise, the location of the manufacture provids a sense of accomplishment in a society. But it’s deeper than that, and includes employment, for the US, MILLIONS of lost jobs.

    I’m volunteering that when I come across a item that used to be made at home, but now has a Made In China label, I experience a variety of emotions including sadness. Quality of manufacturing, human psychology, and bias play a part in these feelings. But I also know it represents a loss of employment at home of some of the best paying jobs that average, not highly educated people could find. Plus the corporate motivation is to increase profits, the customer gets a small discount, while costs plummet and profits skyrocket and in the process lots of our jobs go bye bye.

    When manufacturing is handed off to the lowest bidder, the brand takes some amount of a hit in perceived value, reinforced by the fact that knockoffs, along with the quality items are produced and are usually inferior. There are exceptions, such as Apple products made in China. This is a case where a quality product is being manufactured, must be manufactured for it to be a continuing success.

    Exposed to my spouse I’ll offer another example. :) Would anyone want to buy a Lois Vuitton purse made in China? Ask the knockoff owners. ;) However the caveat is they either believe what they have is genuine or they want you to believe it is. The U.S. based Coach Brand used to be a quality, relatively inexpensive fun purse, but over the years, they have ratcheted up their prices into designer territory while moving manufacturing to the orient. Why pay $500 for a purse that cost $5 to make? It is a combination of the design and associated quality that makes the product desirable. Possibly other examples, a fine Swiss Watch, not made in Switzerland, a BMW not made in Germany. Related articles:

    Made In Where? The Countries With The Best Reputations For Producing Quality
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/karste...eputation-for-producing-quality/#1661f4ca4b3d

    Country-of-origin effect
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Country-of-origin_effect

    Perception, quality, home manufacturing pride, and perceived value, plus some level of bias.

    Apart from the original subject of this thread, there is also a National Security issue. When countries completely hand over all of a class of manufacturing to a third party country, they in essence are giving way their manufacturing expertise, and are losing that knowledge and ability at home. How much of a threat this represents depends on who the next war breaks out with and how long it would take to regain the required infrastructure and expertise to manufacture at home.
     
  18. Falhófnir macrumors 68040

    Falhófnir

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    #18
    To be completely honest with you, I think at this point Germany is largely trading off of past glories. In a lot of cases their products are appalling at all but the very top end of the market, and even there better is to be had elsewhere. Look at their keystone car industry and only BMW is even remotely worth the premium they charge anymore.

    Mercedes were among if not the best for quality in the 1990s, then they tried to cut costs in the 2000s and ended up producing atrocious vehicles. They say they've done a 180 and are back to how they used to be but they still rank poorly on reliability and their build quality is pretty average. I wouldn't touch one personally.

    With Volkswagen, their quality has been pressed at the lower end of the market as they struggle to compete with the Koreans on price - but the real catch is the Koreans manage to price competitively and they're now going one better on quality. At the mid and upper ranges VW group cars are still massively overpriced for their mediocre offerings. They're also not doing brilliantly in reliability surveys anymore (and particularly Audi).
     
  19. Huntn thread starter macrumors P6

    Huntn

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    #19
    I agree that cost plays a substantial role in the success of a product to a point that it overrides quality. For example for use in a home improvement project, I would spend $85 for a tile saw before I spent $800 for a pro model.
     
  20. Gutwrench Contributor

    Gutwrench

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    #20
    Yes, both.

    I remember feeling excited during the moon landing, maybe it included some nationalism too, but not significantly. I was excited about the accomplishment but where the components were milled or assembled? Nope.

    No national pride whatsoever about Apple. Zilch.
     
  21. Huntn thread starter macrumors P6

    Huntn

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    #21
    I regard Nationalism based on achievement as a positive. Nationalism based on oppression or as a means of justifying a host of negative actions and attitudes is bad.
     
  22. Falhófnir macrumors 68040

    Falhófnir

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    #22
    Generally patriotism is a good thing because it's being justifiably proud of your country's achievements... when it spills over into nationalism or jingoism though, that brings in an element of 'superiority' over other countries/ cultures - and often also introduces the more spurious claims of achievement. An example for the US would be taking (justifiable) pride in the achievements of NASA over the years, or the whole military superiority complex - the idea the US is not just the superlative military power, but alone is greater than the sum of the rest of the world (don't laugh I've actually seen this sort of thing posted online).
     
  23. lowendlinux Contributor

    lowendlinux

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    #23
    When provided an option I will buy American first preferably from smaller business, then I'll go European.
     
  24. shinji macrumors 65816

    shinji

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    #24
    Airplanes, weapons, trucks, software, pharmaceutical drugs, chemicals, etc. Lots of stuff is made in America, just not generally what American consumers buy at major retailers. The US is actually the world's second largest exporter https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/exports-by-country-20-largest-exporting-countries.html
     
  25. Huntn thread starter macrumors P6

    Huntn

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    #25
    This is not a claim of greatness coming from me, but at one point the US spent more than something like the next 10 countries combined on it's military. We could afford it until imo, we got kinda stupid and broke ($). Now I'm sure that point in time of stupidity is debatable, but I've been advocating that we relinquish the role of world policeman because our judgement no longer warrants the trust, and it's an easy point to argue with the way our National Debt is ballooning, we really can't continue to throw billions to the wind on foreign adventures without the intent of a truly positive outcome. I even suspect that Europe has already demoted us. :oops:
    --- Post Merged, Mar 7, 2018 ---
    Thanks for mentioning it. I was aware. Still millions of jobs, whoosh gone. I'd argue a good number of the effected people are making less income than they used to.
     

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